Remember the fallen

In the absence of culture, we have government-designated holidays, but that fact does not invalidate the sentiment behind them.

Memorial Day in the USA exists to commemorate the dead of our past wars. These are men and women who fought and sacrificed for what they believed was the right thing to do.

Unless we are divine beings, we always have the capacity to be wrong. In fact, the amount of wrong may not vary inversely with social approval; the more something is approved of and seen as normal and mundane by others, the greater the wrongness may be. Our past two world wars were hard fought and well fought, but because our political objectives before them were confused, those wars were also confused in motivation and ended up being fratricidal and destructive.

Nonetheless, those who fought in them gave of themselves for a belief in defending good things against bad things, and even if this was a mistaken belief, the thought counts more than the actuality. Given the nature of history which moves in sea changes more like plate tectonics than a series of rational human decisions, it is likely that it was impossible to avoid cataclysm. The sacrifices of our servicepeople were not in vain, nor were they misguided. They were like so many things in life the best that was possible at the time.

What we should remember, in addition to honoring our fallen, is that greatness slumbers within us even in this time of non-values. Although many choose to be callow avoiders of burdens, others rise to the challenge. Within our people is the spirit to do right and to risk giving all to achieve that idea, the golden concept of an order of right created on earth. What we must do is awaken our brothers and sisters from the moribund dream that is liberalism, and give them ideals worth fighting for once again.

9 Comments

  1. Walter Kovacs says:

    This is excellent, i often try to express to people the respect i have for soldiers who fight for what think is “our side” regardless of what the truth may be. This article dictates my thoughts in much better words.

  2. crow says:

    A man, alone, may choose his path, and by being true, may avoid the mistakes a whole society inevitably sometimes makes.
    But as part of a society, that choice is necessarily precluded.
    It is not about the individual. If it is, there is no society.
    I used to wonder at the trench-bound soldiers of The Great War, and fail to comprehend why they would allow themselves to be so copiously expended.
    “I would never do that!” I would think.
    But of course, I would have.
    Because, for one thing, I would have had no other choice, and for another, For God, King And Country, would have been all the reason necessary.
    My wife and I agree, often, on how incredibly fortunate we have been, so far, to have never been personally involved in a war.

  3. Avery says:

    They didn’t fight for values, they fought for America — the country we were born in. When we start arguing about the value of the wars we chose, we threaten to impugn the basic virtue of fighting for your own country.

    1. josef H says:

      true. it’s like defending your mom or dad. you dont think anymore if ur parents are right, but you defend them nonetheless. if they are wrong u have all the time to berate them in private…

      1. josef H says:

        works the same for the wife… she’s always right in society even if she’s wrong (you will get to tell her that when you’re alone :P)

  4. EvilBuzzard says:

    Veteran – A person who made out a blank check to the US Government that could include any value. It could have even been their life and their soul. God bless our soldiers.

  5. Karyl says:

    Most wars have been fought to serve the interests of the elite or to secure resources. Since most people don’t actually end up directly owning those resources but merely buying them from the elite, the two happen to coincide most of the time. This include both World Wars.

    (On a semi-related note: the reason the Allies won and the Axis lost is not because the Allies fought so bravely and justly, but because the Allies had direct access to immense natural resources, namely the vast oil and mineral reserves both the US and USSR had at the time, and the Axis had to extract them from conquered territories. Factor in also the geographical advantage.)

    It’s unfair to lionize people who had no other choice but to fight. We like to remember the “heroes”, but also conveniently forget the many acts of cowardice and those who just shoot off in the air because they really didn’t want to kill anybody.

    I might respect a soldier, like I respect anyone else who does his job, but let’s face it, given a choice, most wouldn’t fight. I remember the fallen to pity them, to bemoan their fate as pawns of the elite and to resolve never to be a cat’s paw myself, if I can help it.

  6. Ted Swanson says:

    I understand you have good intentions, but I imagine the “true believer” type soldiers (dead and alive) don’t want pity

    1. Ted Swanson says:

      meant to be a reply to Karyl

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